Kane out up to three months

– So how do the Chicago Blackhawks go about replacing the irreplaceable?

"That's a good question," winger Patrick Sharp said.

And the Blackhawks need a good answer. Star forward Patrick Kane had surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured left collarbone fracture suffered Tuesday night against the Panthers. He will be sidelined approximately 12 weeks.

Kane, 26, was placed on long-term injured reserve and only appears likely to return this season if the Blackhawks can make a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Teuvo Teravainen was recalled from Rockford to fill Kane's roster spot, but the rookie won't be counted on solely to fill Kane's scoring role. Entering play Wednesday night, Kane was tied for the NHL scoring lead with 27 goals and 37 assists, and Chicago will look to fill the void by committee and defensive structure.

"You have the leading scorer in the game, a very valuable asset. He makes a lot of things work for us," coach Joel Quenneville said of Kane, who suffered the injury when he fell awkwardly into the boards following a cross-check from the Panthers' Alex Petrovic in Chicago's 3-2 shootout victory.

"As a group, we have to make sure everybody plays the right way, plays tighter and has some responsibility to their games. We have to play tight and look to play low-scoring games."

General Manager Stan Bowman also could seek to bolster the lineup via trade.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE